NICOLA Sturgeon wants to “destroy” Labour, according to one of the main contenders for the party’s vacant leadership in Scotland.
Neil Findlay, who secured the support of the GMB union at the weekend, claimed this is more important to the First Minister-in-waiting than Scottish independence.
It follows claims by Ms Sturgeon yesterday that she wants the SNP to replace Labour as the party of “social and economic progess” in Scotland.
Mr Findlay is widely seen as the left-wing candidate among the Labour leadership hopefuls who also include Sarah Boyack and Jim Murphy.
He told a meeting last night: “It is absolutely clear that Nicola Sturgeon’s priority isn’t independence. It’s destroying the Labour Party. Her plan is to sound like the Labour Party even though her policies are increasing inequality and costing jobs in councils and cutting college places up and down Scotland.
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“Ms Sturgeon can certainly ‘talk the talk’ but that’s all she’ll do. To counter that, Labour needs policies that ‘walk the walk’ and under my leadership that’s what we’ll have.”
Ms Sturgeon said yesterday that “rapid reduction” in support for Labour in the polls in Scotland shows that old loyalties are shifting.
“When push came to shove, Labour showed in the referendum that its first loyalty was to the Westminster system,” she said.
Ms Sturgeon will be formally installed as the new SNP leader at this weekend’s party conference, then as First Minister next week. The Glasgow South MSP said she wanted the party to be seen as the party of “social and economic progress” in Scotland which the “radically reforming” Labour Party held in the 20th century.
She added: “That is no more. The social democratic record of the SNP administration is strong, and one that I want to continually improve. And the reputational damage done to the Labour Party by its referendum alliance with the Tories – when it showed that it has far more in common with the interests of a right-wing Westminster administration than its own core voters in Scotland – will last for a generation or more.”
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